by Quentin Singer
Whether you have vacation plans or not, it’s hard not to get excited for spring break, especially considering the pain and suffering most of us endure the week prior during midterms. While many students choose to go back home and enjoy the company of family and friends, there are a great portion of Berklee undergraduates who stay on campus over the break. Traveling is expensive and everyone knows this sometimes the reason some students can’t travel back home over breaks. Regardless of plane ticket fares, there are several affordable vacation opportunities to take advantage of in the New England region.
Before I even list a few travel options, you need to be informed about Maven. Essentially, Maven is an app that lets you rent local cars in your city. It’s not like a rental car service where you need to be 26 years old, sign stacks of paper work, and sell away your soul. You simply need a smart phone and an account on the app. One unique feature about Maven, aside from it being incredibly affordable and easy to use, is your phone is the car key. After you select a Maven car in your zip code, you simply need to walk to the car and unlock it with your phone – it’s really that easy. So, before deciding what to do over break, think about getting a group of friends together and renting a Maven car. Their rates go as low as $8 an hour, and they’re perfect for regional traveling! And before the thought comes to mind, neither Berklee Groove nor Berklee are sponsored by Maven. It’s honestly just an awesome invention more people need to know about.
Being just under an hour drive, Salem is a landmark town in the state of Massachusetts. Home to the infamous Salem Witch Trials, the town is known for its extravagant tours and museums dealing with the historical event. Popular attractions include the Salem Witch Museum, Salem Witch Village, and the Peabody Essex Museum (if you’re looking for a great art exhibit/non-witch museum). Aside from witches and museums, the town has some great local eateries for both non-vegan and vegan food lovers alike: Howling Wolf Taqueria, Boston Hot Dog Company, and Life Alive. While it might not be ideal for overnight stays considering its short distance, Salem is a great local and cheap getaway for students looking to get out of the city for the day.
Lost Valley Ski Resort
Most people imagine Spring Break as a chance to soak up some sun and be a beach bum, but if you live in MA or any Northeastern state, this is merely a fantasy, at least until July. That said, the New England region has numerous ski and mountain resorts to choose from, all varying in price. If you’re really looking to spend a weekend away at a ski resort, Lost Valley, Maine is the place to go. Not only does it have a student discount of $20 per day/evening, but its equipment rental service is rather cheap for the non-skiers/snowboarders. Along with the resort’s affordability, its location being in Maine offers some great nature walks and vistas, especially if you head over to Mount Apatite. While it’s a little more pricey than a day visit to Salem, if you and a group of friends are looking for a longer, more adventurous getaway, Lost Valley is the answer.
Acadia National Park
Speaking of far and adventurous activities, New England is home to one of the most sprawling and beautiful US National Parks. Acadia National Park is located in the northern-most region of Maine, and is famous for its magnificent, oceanic hilltop views, along with its rocky, but also pleasant hiking trails. For people really looking to get away from the city life for a
weekend, there are several great and affordable cabins for rent in the Acadia region, all of which become even more affordable when split between friends. Whether you’re an avid hiker or outdoors person or not, Acadia is a sight worth seeing from the incredible wildlife to the environmental vistas. While it’s definitely the farthest expedition (a five hour drive), Acadia can be refreshing and relieving, especially after a grueling week of midterms in a big city like Boston.
Through the use of Maven and Airbnb, traveling and vacationing have seemingly become more and more affordable, and hopefully these suggestions provide great alternatives for a suitable, yet affordable spring break.